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HSE Select Intel

Series/Special. Clapper, Brennan, Flynn, Mueller.

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Syria 20, China 14, North Korea 13, Us 12, United States 9, America 8, Cia 7, U.s. 7, North Africa 7, Iran 6, Assad 6, Pakistan 5, Afghanistan 5, Russia 5, Libya 4, John Brennan 3, South Korea 3, Al Qaeda 2, Michael Flynn 2, Elizabeth 2,
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  CSPAN    HSE Select Intel    Series/Special. Clapper,  
   Brennan, Flynn, Mueller.  

    April 15, 2013
    1:25 - 3:39am EDT  

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westminster to st. paul's cathedral. when elizabeth the second letter -- queen elizabeth ii will attend the funeral. live coverage wednesday begins at 4:15 a.m. eastern time on c- span2. >> next, a house hearing on threats around the world with the director of national intelligence, and the cia and at the i director. in the senate confirmation hearing for sylvia burwell, nominated to become white house budget director. next -- after that, he win a." 11, shened at age lived with her favorite uncle, james buchanan. your's later, he becomes president. she served as white house hostess. she is the first to be called first lady on a regular basis. she is so popular that she sets trends in clothing and children and ships are named after her.
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meet harriet lane. we will look at her life and that of her predecessor, jane pierce, along with their questions and comments by phone, facebook, and twitter. at 9:00adies" tonight eastern on c-span. also on c-span radio and at c- span.org. >> certainly, general petraeus thought that his private communications were going to remain private. we all should have that reasonable expectation that when we are communicating with one person, we are not communicating with the government. we are not laying out our whole life to the government. we should have that privacy. >> we want the government to be trustworthy, but we do not want to say the american people, trust government. againstyour defense being abused. as we see new problems, you should pass laws to protect people's privacy and their fourth amendment rights, rather than saying, the government has not abused those yet -- why are
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you concerned? or the courts may come in and save the day. they might, but while we are here, why don't we make sure that the law catches up with the fourth amendment? >> does the government need a warrant to read your e-mails? monday night on "the communicators." 8:00 eastern on c-span two. >> on thursday, james clapper told congress that budget cuts are making the country less secure. mr. clapper was joined by the heads of the fbi and cia at a hearing before the house intelligence committee. the officials also said cyber attacks are a major threat, adding they were concerned particularly about attacks that can wipe out data. this is two hours and 10 minutes. >> bring the committee to order. we will get our opening statements under way to get to
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our distinguished panelists and statements. i want to welcome national intelligence director james clapper, cia director john brennan. director of defense intelligence agency, michael flynn and director of the f.b.i., robert mueller. for the yearly open hearing before the house intelligence committee. as a reminder to all members, we're in open session, and we should be careful not to discuss classified matters. whether we have a closed session immediately following this session to address sensitive matters. i just want to congratulate our committee yesterday, an 18-2 vote on the cyber security information sharing bill. we thought it was a great start. this morning, because of changes made, the bill received the endorsement of tech net, largest high-tech association with the largest number of high-tech companies.
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we're pleased with that and looking forward to moving forward so our intelligence services can share bad stuff with the good guys. the purpose is to allow the american people to hear from those responsible for providing the intelligence to protect the united states and for america, to see firsthand the oversight conducted by their elected representatives. as always, we live in dangerous times. a nuclear north korea continues its bellicose behavior, threatening american allies in the region. it hopes to distract attention if it is expanding its nuclear ambitions. i commend u.s. efforts to show support for our allies and display strong leadership in the region. in syria, bashar al assad responded to protests with murderous violence, and after two years of chaos and 70,000 dead, the country is caught in a bloody civil war that plays out under the shadow of chemical weapons.
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syria places the entire region at risk, and without a change in course, provides a new safe haven for al qaeda to plan future attacks, at the same time, while controlling some of the world's deadliest weapons. islamic radicals still seek to exploit weak states or regions in their quest to enact an evil vision of society opposed to the principles of our civilization. we experience a daily onslaught of russian and chinese cyber attacks, iranian and north korean growing capabilities, attacks that steal americans' technological innovation and ingenuity. the keys to military and economic success as a nation are at risk. in afghanistan, we spent 12 years fighting those who have fought us first and face the ultimate test of our national will. do we have the conviction to cement our hard-fought gains and achieve a lasting victory, or will we walk away before the job is done? the challenges are many. we face many of them in an increasing constrained fiscal
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environment. the sequester is an outcome nobody wanted, and i share director clapper's concerns about its potential impacts and risks to intelligence. i find particularly disturbing reports the department of defense wishes to impose furlough policy on the intelligence community. those reports are true, it would be mindless and irresponsible giving the level of threat and uncertainty we find around the world. i support director clapper's steps to mitigate the effects of the sequester such as freezing new hires, delaying contract awards where possible and cutting back lowest priority spending and avoiding furloughs. enactment of fiscal year '13 defense appropriations bill will be helpful as cuts will be applied to current spending priorities. we have been assured the i.c. can meet its core missions despite the sequester. still, white house and congress must avoid another sequester. this must not become the new normal for budgeting purposes. speak now before the people responsible for managing our
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intelligence community and giving policymakers the information needed to do our jobs. these intelligence professionals can only do their jobs when policymakers do theirs first. we must set a clear policy goal and objective to keep this country safe. when the threats are numerous and constraints are many, we have the duty to explain a coherent national security strategy to protect the united states. from both sides of the aisle we see rising tide of isolationism, whether we are discussing provoked fears about the use of drones or how to help the syrian crisis, we hear that people are weary of war. we hear people are fearful of the more u.s. interventions in the world. people are skeptical of the efficacy and morality of american power. america as faced such worries before. and we must lead america out of this challenging time and inspire renewed confidence that a thoughtfully engaged america
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can continue to be a force for good in the world. we must speak clearly to both our friends and our enemies so no one doubts where we stand. we must mean what we say. when america announces a policy against a foreign regime, america must act to affect wait the outcome, not stand by and hoping the outcome arises organically. we must not simply watch events unfold. the hope events turn out in peaceful and positive way is to ignore history and to avoid responsibility for the cost and consequences of inaction. after a decade of the war against islamist extremism, americans may understandably worry about the costs of action. but ignoring threats will not avoid those costs. the bill for inaction will always come due. i have never known americans to back down from a righteous challenge. call on america's leaders and america, do not abandon the world. let's not turn our backs on those looking for american leadership. let's continue to stand as the rock of freedom and prosperity in the world.
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i will turn to ranking member for any remarks he would wish to make. >> mr. chairman, want to thank you for your leadership. we did have our cyber bill, which is so important to the protection of our citizens and our companies and your bipartisan approach to how you run the committee makes a difference. i know everyone is treated with respect and all people and members point of view is heard. i appreciate it. thank you, and congratulations on your leadership. first i would like to acknowledge leaders of our intelligence committee, including general clapper, cia director john brennan, director michael flynn, f.b.i. director robert mueller. we have a lot of hearings and committees. but the group in front of me right now today is one of the best leadership groups i have seen in this government. i want to thank you for your service and your leadership. all starts at the top and you have to have good people to do the job and i appreciate your service every year during worldwide threats we look back at the previous year and look
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towards the future. 2012 wasn't like 2011. 2011 was an unusual year for high-profile intelligence victories. successful rate on bin laden was culmination of over a decade of painstaking intelligence work. although there may be no oscar- nominated movies about the intelligence successes in 2012, make no mistake every day is an intelligence success. men and women of the intelligence community are working to keep us safe 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. these federal employees work nights, weekends, holidays in some of the remote and dangerous locations around the world to defend our nation. there are no movies made of these daily successes because these tireless professionals are preventing the attack that dominate headlines and inspire big-screen movies. they know their successes often require anonymity and we know they work to serve not for glory. we know this and deeply appreciate all of the work of quiet professionals. intelligence committee made the commitment to give the officials resources capability and authorities we need to protect the united states.
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intelligence committee did misgrave and sometimes deadly challenges as we saw in libya. i believe the intelligence community is ready to handle the threats we face in 2013, and i believe this intelligence committee is ready to make sure they have the tools, guidance and appropriate oversight to do so. as we head into 2013, there's a lot of unrest around the world. the i.c. must continue to focus in its analytical capabilities in the middle east as that region continues its violent transformations. we must remain vigilant on iran, whose antagonism grows and grows capacity as so does capacity to do harm to us and allies. iran cannot be trusted and we cannot allow it to create a nuclear weapon. nuclear capabilities threatens our safety as well as israel and the rest of the middle east. we must also continue to keep up with events in yemen, where al qaeda and arabian peninsula is still plotting to kill americans and disrupt our way of life. in syria, we must continue to
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know all we can about this horrendous situation and find ways to gain influence and supporters in the post assad syria. fall of the assad regime will not end the crisis. the common enemy that unites the various opposition groups will one day fall and old divisions will mix with the glut of weapons to make for a volatile situation. we must think ahead a. void making mistakes of the past and never fall back into the trap of thinking military solutions alone can solve complex problems. africa, too, is becoming breeding ground for terrorists. although we must take care of to keep threats in perspective and not take action that's can transform regional struggles into movements against the west. our eyes must turn more towards asia and we need to bill our capacity to understand many languages and cultures as well as government and militaries. north korea is moving its determination to destabilize the region with overblown and irresponsible and dangerous
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actions. destabilizing potential of north korea and its willingness to export proliferation cannot be underestimated. but we also know their pattern of ramping up tensions to extract concessions. we need to break this cycle. china needs to be involved. pakistan is going through another round of internal con vo lucians with vast complications for the region and u.s. china and russia continue efforts at economic espionage and continue to modernize militaries. china and russia went through important leadership transitions in 2012 as well. we must look for broad movements and anticipate the triggers of conflict. while ideology needs to competition for national resources, be they food, water or rare earth materials as the next motivator for international conflict. the threats we will face are grave, constant and evolving. for example, cyber, what many were calling a cyber cold war have now turned hot. countries like iran are continuously attacking our economic infrastructure while china and russia steals trade secrets by infiltrating networks of our countries. spending billions to respond to
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the attacks that is rightfully looking to the boston to do what it has always done, defend against attacks from foreign governments. intelligence community is on the front line of defense and we must continue to do so. we in congress need to do our part as well. in 2012 house passed cyber intelligence sharing and protection act, which would give the government the authority to share cyber threat intelligence with industry and would have allowed industry to place cyber 911 call to government. yesterday the intelligence committee passed the bill out of markup by a vote of 18-2. markup adopted many amendments that vastly improved our bill to make it mow protective of privacy. these efforts were a culmination of over a year work with industry devoted to privacy and civil liberties. this must become law. beyond sispa, we in the legislative realm also need to do everything we can to ensure we have a deep bench of cyber security professionals and innovators by investing in early education, science, technology and engineering and math, stem
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education. and our best and brightest to go into public service out of school starting for example by increasing opportunities for government internships. our prosperity and national security depend and our schools. if they fall behind, we fall behind. we all realize this is a tremendous set of priorities and you have a tremendous burden. it's all being made that much more challenging by sequestration. people forget when they talk about sequestration, it was designed to be bad. the across-the-board cuts designed to be ill-advised and painful that the mere possibility was to force both sides to come together on a broader budget deal. that was a threat and now it's reality. now we're facing deep and indiscriminate cuts with no regard to priority or good sense. these need to impact social programs and cuts investments and stem the very educational subject that are critical and crucial for innovation, economic growth in the very fields russians and chinese are heavily investing in. sequestration sacrifices our national security. intelligence authorization act very narrowly spells out what the intelligence community can do to provide oversight. the flip side is under
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sequestration, each of these narrowly define programs get the same cut. it doesn't matter the program or timeliness or overall cost, it's throwing baby out with the bath water. take space programs. indiscriminately cut it by 9% to turn off a satellite long before its life is complete. and costs $15 million to operate maintain it and cutting into nearly costs effectively means you cannot operate or maintain the platform. 90% reduction would lead to 100% loss of capability. and once you stop maintaining satellite that turns off, you cannot turn it back on. if one day -- i'm getting close if you one day want to get these capabilities back, say a country is testing nuclear weapons, you will have to replace the satellite for the full cost. to borrow an old phrase, we're being penny wise and pound foolish. abandoning the car on the side of the highway so we don't pay
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for gas. there's a way to trim budgets, intelligence act for fy 2011, manages our resources without affecting our mission and dedicated professionals. look forward to hearing from you and hopefully our public will learn from what we're doing in this open hearing. thank you. >> thank you. >> general rogers, and members of the committee, we're here today to present the 2013 worldwide threat assessment. these remark, unclassified and another one reflect the judgments of the intelligence community. on behalf of all of us and the men and women of the community we appreciate your strong support. it is our privilege and honor to serve in these positions and lead them.
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i will discuss our solemn duty to protect them. i have serious reservations about conducting open hearings, especially on the question and answer sessions. i think it is important to keep the american public informed, i think it can be done by unclassified opening statements and statements for the record. we're ready to answer any and all of your questions in closed sessions. while our statements for the record and your opening statements can be reviewed in advance, our answers cannot. in our attempts to revealing classified information can sometimes lead to misinterpretations. it is a hazard we've encountered while discussing sensitive details. so when we ask to discuss certain matters in closed sessions, it is to protect our intelligence source and methods, and to be sensitive with the partnership we have with your
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partners. they and our adversaries watch and listen to these hearings as well as i've learned the hard way. the topic is foremost on all of our minds is sequestration. i raise it in this hearing because the affects of sequestration amplify the threats that i will discuss later. the engagements with the media on this issue have been restrained. let me be blunt for you and the american people.
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sequestration forces the intelligence community to reduce all activities and functions without regard to the impact on our mission. in my judgment, sequestration jeopardizes our nation's safety and security and this will increase over time. the national intelligence program is spread over six departments and two independent agencies. much of it is cared in the d.o.d. budget. we appreciate the committee's support in trying to fix this problem. these restrictive rules compound the damage and restrict the ability to take these cuts in a rational way. to the size of the sequestration size, $4 billion will directly compel us to do less with less. some examples by way of illustration and not exhaustion. it will increase the risk of strategic surprise.
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this includes, for example, furloughing thousands of f.b.i. employees, our cyber efforts will be impacted, we will reduce global coverage an could miss early signs of a threat, we will release contractors, we'll delay major systems and deacquisitions. virtually all of the 39 major systems across the intelligence community will be wounded. we'll have to renegotiate contracts, which will n the long rung will cost us more. since we're already halfway through the fiscal year, the mandated across the board cuts are about 13% because we're forced to take them in seven months. this magnifies the impact these cuts will have on the intelligence community.
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our approach is that the mission comes first. the two highest priorities is to protect our most valuable resource, our civilian force and two to support overseas operations. our civilian work force works 24/7 around the world. they are the ones that help to the i.c. leadership is committed to minimizing the number of furloughs if required, not only because of the direct impact of our mission but because of the severe impact on the moral of the people who do it. we're not arguing about taking our share of budget reductions. manage this budget crisis and
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sustain our vital missions. but to accept and mansion the risk we're incurring. therefore, a plan to a plan to mitigate some of the egregious cuts and in this i'm asking for your support and other oversight committees the for expedited commission. i've seen this movie before. we were looking to repeat the dividend by the end of the cold war. we closed many c.i.a. stations, we reduced and cut analysts, neglected basic infrastructure needs and let our facilities decay. most damagely we badly distorted the work force. that was reversed in the wake of 9/11. we have rebuilt the intelligence community into what we have
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today. if you're not careful we're risk another damaging spiral. we're going to do all we can to prevent repeating this cycle. unlike other cuts by the sequestration like shorter hour for parks, it will be almost invisible until we have an intelligence failure. let me turn to a brief top view of global threats and challenges. in my almost 50 years of intelligence i cannot of think of a time when we have this type of threats around the world. this shows how much the environment is changing. threats are more interconnected a viral. events that at first seemed irrelevant then send offer disruptions that affect
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international interests. war includes a software. -- soft war. i like to turn to a few of the issues we've identified. our statement leads with cyber, of course. congratulations to the committee for the passage of your bill. as more and more state and non- state actors gain cyber expertise the reach globally cannot billion overstated. the shift in human geography have huge national security implications. countries important to u.s. interest are living with extreme water and food stress that can destabilize governments and trigger conflicts.
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criminal or terrorist elements can exploit these weaknesses to conduct activity and recruitment and training. the threat from al qaeda and an attack on the united states may be diminished but the movement is still there. they are still determined to attack western interests. the terror has brought a strike in threats to u.s. interests. along with ongoing unrest in syria provide opportunity for opportunists and groups. in these parts of the world they can take advantage of the stresses and a high disproportion of unemployed frustrated young males who resent our power, wealth, and
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culture. the mass destruction is another treat to u.s. interests.-- threat to u.s. interests. we continue to monitor the development and use around the world. north korea has been an example of this. they announced in february they conducted its third nuclear test and last year, about this time displayed what appearance to be a road mobile ballistic missile. we believe that kim jung-un has taken accidents to build this-- steps to build this missile but it remains untested. it demonstrated its long-range missile technology. these are accompanied withag gressive public rhetoric towards the united states and south korea.
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we continue to carefully monitor developments in participation of north korea's next step. iran continues to develop uranium and weaponization and ballistic missiles, which can it draw, if they decide to draw missile weapons. tehran has the scientific capacity to produce nuclear weapons. so the central issue is its political will to do so. such a decision will reside with a supreme leader and at this point we don't know if they build nuclear weapons. we're tracking the stockpiles of chemical warfare agents, which is part of a dispersed program. its advanced chemical weapons has the ability to inflict mass casualties. the violence through conventional means is not
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working and is willing to use chemical weapons against its own people. groups in syria could also gain access to such materials. looking at geographic threats around the world. some areas in north africa are making progress in democratic rule. they are spreading influence and to undermine the united states and our alleys.-- allies. tehran has a worsening facing outlook and a fall of syria would be a huge strategic loss for iran. in i iraq, tensions are rising. to this point, al qaeda in iraq have not mustered the strength to overwhelm iraqi forces and they are exporting oil at the highest level in two decades. after two years in syria the
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erosion of the regime's capabilities are slowing. the opposition is slowly but surely gaining the upper hand. assad's days are numbered we just don't know the exact number. the regime's violence has led to casualties estimated at 70,000 deaths. the violence and economic dislocation also led to 3.6 million syrians being displaced and refugees who fled syria, which adds pressure to jordan, turkey, and iraq. an election that was scheduled for this month probably will
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pushed to the fall. the longer they are delayed it will raise the frustration in the streets. the fighting in somalia the collapse of government in northern mali. mali's security hinges on france being able to determine terrorists networks in the region. west african countries, deployed thousands of troops to help stabilize northern mali. chad is the nation's biggest contribute and are working closely with the french. moving to asia, the taliban has diminished in certain areas of afghanistan but is still resilient. the coalition draw down would have an impact on afghanistan's
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economy, which is likely to decline after 2014. pakistan has not instituted much needed tax reforms and the country faces no real prospects for economic growth. the armed forces continue their operations in the tribal areas, which have been safe havens for a qaeda and the taliban. in china last month, they have a new president. his country is supplementing their military capabilities to support its claims in the south and east china seas. russia will continue to resist putting more international pressure on syria or iran. they will display great sensitivity about missile defense. closer to home, latin america and caribbean face natural
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disasters and drug-related violence and trafficking. in venezuela, they have named an acting president and the election is slated for three days from now. he is expected to win. in some given the magnitude of global responsibilities insightful and comprehensive intelligence has never been more important or more urgent. i have trouble reconciling this with sequestration. with that we stand ready to address your questions. >> thank you. we'll get to the questions. i appreciate your comments on closed versus open. disappointed you took a moment to talk about it here after our conversations. but each of the organizations before us today is a statute
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created entity on behalf of the american people. most of the work we do in this committee is sensitive and highly classified. if we're going to maintain public trust and not breed public mistrust it is extremely important they have the opportunity to have a public interaction with the agencies they support, not only with their hearts but with their wallets. as the executive branch as a consumer of intelligence for they policy decisions so is the united states congress. i will hope you look at this as an opportunity to showcase the agencies. we'll challenge some of your findings but it is a good opportunity to have an open dialogue about secret business that protects the united states. always a balance, i think it is an important balance. i will note for the record that you were dragged kicking and screaming today. >> that's accurate. >> thank you to all the members
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>> thank you to all the members of the panel for being here. my question, is going to pertain to north korea. what can you tell us about what the objectives are of the north korean government and kim ung-un in the government -- jong-un and what is the role in the government and what role we would like it to play? >> let me start and others can jump in. as far as the objectives of the new leader, i think his primary object i have is to consolidate -- affirm his power.
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much of the rhetoric -- almost all of the rhetoric of late is designed for an internal and external audience. but i think first and foremost, it is to show he is firmly in control the north korea. i'm going say i don't think he has much of an end game other than to somehow elicit recognition from the word and specifically the united states. north korea's a rival and seen on the scene as a nuclear power. that entitles him to negotiation and accommodation. presumably for aid. you asked about china, i think probably if anyone has real leverage over the north koreans it is china. china is under new leadership. the indications that we have are that china is itself rather frustrated with the behavior and rhetoric of kim jong-un. john, do you want to add to that?
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>> i agree. one thing i want to add, kim jong-un has not been in power for that long and we don't have a track record for him like we had with his father and grandfather. this is where the intelligence community needs to be able to maintain a clear focus on what is going on in the regional there. again, looking at china and the issue of north korea, i think china has the best issue the area as stability as well. they probably have more influence over kim jong-un and this anybody else. >> i was around in the intelligence business in 1968, i was in the business then.
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i was at headquarters in 1976 during the tree cutting incident, which resulted in the murder of two american soldiers. i can recall in those two cases that i thought the tensions was greater than today. what we have today is a lot of rhetoric, but i think historical context might be helpful. >> do you believe that japan -- do you think the u.s. will stand by them? are they secure in our position, is the question i'm asking. >> i believe they do. we've had expressions along
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those lines that i think our three allies are united in their concern about the potential of threat posed by north korea. and i think the u.s. dialogue and coordination created is as good as i've ever seen it. >> how do you view the position of the president in south korea? isi think going into this, trust and it is attempt to engage with north korea. obviously, i think the calculus might be changing, i don't know but i think it is. maybe it is because of good behavior. forink she was looking other opportunities beyond the industrial centers that they have closed down. that generates $100 million in revenue for north korea, which they need. i think she is in the mode of
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being weary and cautious and certainly, the public opinion polls in south korea support that stance. >> thank you very much. i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. good morning to the panel. you were brought screaming to a session, after being here for a few years, i can't find the difference between a closed and open hearing. by the time we go out cnn is reporting it. i agree with your assessment before 9/11. we saw the situation and had seen the fractures in the intelligence community. our assets were lost, deteriorated and an agency is that were responsible for intelligence gathering and analyzing and coming up with -- had come into a kind of --
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standing on their own, they were not sharing information and we had problems. i believe in 2004, your agency was created to bring in the information gathering and to ensure our intelligence community would continue to cooperate and do a better job. beginning it was very hard because we had the defense people and the military reluctant to give up some of power. you had other agencies that
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were reluctant to give up some of their assets. i did not see it -- i did not see a great cooperation. it is eight years later and this is the first time i've been in this committee. what is your assessment today -- i like your assessment today how your agency has overcome some of the problems before 9/11. now, with sequestration causing deterioration, how do you think the agency will be able to ensure we do not go back to the pre-9/11 days of intelligence
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gathering? >> thank you for the question. you're quite right in the historical revolution of position that was established that i now occupy. that found its way into the intelligence reform and terrorism prevention act. it has been my goal, my objective, i guess if i pick the one word for what i've been trying to do in this position is promote integration across the community. i think we made a lot of strides that way. when i say integration as both horizontally, if i can use that metaphor across the pipes of the agencies, as well as vertically. this is another new dimension for the agency. state,s of federal,
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local, private sector sharing the integration as well. i try to push that. howdgment like that is successful that has been and others have to make that call. i think we've made great strides. one of the advantages in having this position is the current situation we're in with funding and budget challenges we're facing. i think it is a strength for the intelligence community to have a single person and staff who can look across objectively and lead corporate process on an objective basis on what we're to take cuts and where to invest. fortunately or unfortunately, depend on your point of view, we've had a lot of practice at that in the last two or three years. i will ask others to comment on their views, you know, the position. >> i would say that the general has done a sure bush job in doing what he said, -- sure beneficiary -- job in doing what he said.
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i will tell you to a large extent the work is attributable to the person who fills that seat. and general clapper has done a terrific job in bringing us together horizontally and domestically. thank you, sir. >> first of all, from d.r.a.'s perspective, we are approximately 262 locations over the world. hiss derived from the statement and it says that we will be a nation made more secure by fully integrated intelligence community. i will tell you from, you know, the last 10 years if aye seen anything, we have tactical units in the military that have been fully integrated by officers, intelligence professionals from the c.i.a., the f.b.i.
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we've worked closely over the last decade, the level of relationships, the maturing on how we share information but also how we have speeded up the process how we share with our coalition partners out there on the battlefields but also some of the other areas in terms of the strikes we're facing. from my perspective, we have really moved in the right direction. i think that there is still more to do but i'm very upbeat about the direction we have taken. >> i will add this. information sharing has never been better.
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but as the general said, we need to be constantly improving in the intelligence community. there is probably room for improvement going forward but the ratcheting up of the different departments, it is much better than it was before 9/11. >> him think with his guidance, we are going to continue to enhance the efforts. >> i yield back. thank you for the time. >> thank you mr. chairman. thank you for being here. thank you for your service to our country. to the men and women who work for you, i am in all of the patriotism, the professionalism, efficiency, selfishness -- selflessness of which i have had the opportunity to travel. american people have no idea of the sacrifices that are being made. through your leadership, we are
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able to do that. i want to pass that on. i want to focus on syria for a little bit. there has been discussion on if assad of false, a lot of people think is when assad defaults, what is your assessment assessment of what we are doing to address the possible if not likely advent of further fighting between these rebel groups, and what they may mean? >> thank you for your treatment. we appreciate it. the men and women of the intelligence community do appreciate when you visit and take interest in what they do. we all appreciate that very much.
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i think our -- our most likely scenario that we see is even after assad falls, it is probably more fractional was nation -- fractionalization. for some. of time, there would be continued intersectoral competition and fighting, which would be localized. ofre are literally hundreds these militia groups that are fighting us on a local basis, in the north and east of the country. they are gaining more control of the area. i think that from an intelligence perspective, that is what we see. he even after he falls, there is a current presence in the north, about 65% of the population of syria, about 22.5 million people are sunni. we expect sunni arabs as well. >> there is a lot of speculation as to how assad is actually funding all of this, and what his reserve levels are, and where he goes from here. what do you assesses the current level of financial provided to the assad regime by the iranians, hezbollah, the russians?
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this is the only way he can survive, isn't it? detailed't have insight into exactly how he is drawing his finances. he has his own private reserves. there are business interest probably help support him. the iranians have -- because of sanctions and all of that.
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they are attempting to provide advisory and material support far more than cash for the syrians. and we do see signs of the deteriorating infrastructure, the economy of courses deteriorating as you would expect. this directly affects about 20% of the population, he -- those that have fled. signss starting to show of strain within the regime military. we do see signs of either delayed or short paid to their army, which heightens their desertion rate. >> it seems that they are lose -- using an awful lot of arms in this fight. they seem to be supplied by the russians.
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>> they had arms to start with. they had huge hardware, whether it is missiles, vehicles, tanks, aircraft, and of course all kinds of small arms. weaponse was awash in to start with. many of which have fallen into the hands of the opposition. >> thank you. >> thank you so much esther sherman. i thank you all for participating in this hearing. i think it is of such great benefit to the american people. i have some questions for you, director brendan, about drones. in your confirmation, you suggested that the american --
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disclose when drones fly -- when drones kill civilians. you suggested that the drum operation should at some point at least be transferred from intelligence to the military. i am wondering if you have taken any steps or if you plan to immediately take actions to increase transparency about drones strikes, to make any move of that program. you also state that the idea of establishing a special court to review potential targets was worthy of discussion. i wondered if any discussion had begun on this issue? incouncilwoman, when i was my confirmation hit the -- hearing, i was asked about policies that the administration was pursuing. thet now i am director of
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cia. by comets at that time were reflective of my position at the white house. as well my comments about the counterterrorism program overall. i would say right now that i am at the helm of the cia, and will carry out the policy guidance as directed by the administration. i will continue to focus our efforts on making sure that terrorists are not able to carry out murderous attacks our citizens. >> i wonder if you can comment on this.
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newspapersache publish an article saying that a significant number of individuals killed in drone strikes attack -- in pakistan were not leaders, and the article states that hundreds of suspected low-level militants were killed in strikes. i wondered if you were -- if you could address concerns that we do not always know who we are targeting. and claims that the scope of the attacks is much wider than have been suggested. >> there are a lot of things that are inaccurate in my mind, and misrepresent the facts. i'm not going to talk about any specific activities or operations in any part of the world. my responsibility, i'm going to make sure that we can do what we can to work with with our partners overseas to take these off the battlefield. >> is there anyway you can define, distinguish between targeted strikes and signature strikes by drones? >> i would refer to the comments that were made by a number of officials, publicly in speeches. i'm not going to engage in a discussion on that. >> let me add. let me ask you also, the senate intelligence committee on
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cia interrogation practices is under review within the administration and the agency. comments were originally due back to the committee on february 15. the reply has been delayed indefinitely. on march 7, "the new york said dave any person to take this on it would be you. it is you, and that the institution would benefit from the eventual declassification and release of the study. what is the current status of the review of the report, and
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can you discuss the importance as the leader of the cia of its release? >> it is an important report that was issued by the center of committee intelligence. i have spoken with both the chairman and the vice chairman of the committee. theing them that i am in process of the reviewing of the documents. we will be getting back to them shortly. this is a 6000 pages documented that has millions millions of pages behind in terms of what was reviewed. it is my obligation as the
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director of the cia to make sure that our response back to them is going to be thorough and as accurate as possible, and will convey my views of what that report portrays about cia's past practices, what we have and also to identify things that i'm -- i might think the committee might have not accurately represented. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. thank you mr. chairman. >> director, you were in the white house. this white house seems to have a strategy that they want to negotiated peace in syria, and i guess just let assad step down.
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you think that is a good policy or plan for syria? >> i am an intelligence officer. i recognize that my responsibility as an intelligence officer is to provide policymakers with the best intelligence possible so that they can formulate policy that will secure national interest. that is what my interest is going to be. i will not, on if i agree or disagree with any all is he. >> -- on any policy. >> ok. ist is your opinion on he just going to step down. hiss he mentioned in opening statement, there is pressure that is being applied
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on him. he is being that she is getting support from outside entities. that pressure is going to continue. we have policy about it is time for assad to go. the bloodshed is taking place in syria continues. the implication to reach him as a whole is profound. they -- the sooner that we can bring -- bring security to that country, it is in our interest. the concerned about fracturing of the country that is allowing certain groups to
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gain strength. they have agendas inside of syria, especially outside, that are contrary to national security interest. >> i am the question wrong. -- i guess i am asking the question wrong. you percent of a chance think assad would step down? >> his days are numbered. it is a question of when that pressure is going to be sufficient on him. they either he is going to voluntarily step down, or he will meet his fate as a result of pressure that is being applied on him from inside the country. >> the perspective is that he believes he has got the upper
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hand and that he is winning. he is also said that he was born in syria, and that he will there. he appears to be, to the extent that we have done any psychological analysis, does not seem to be interested in point of leaving or voluntarily stepping down. >> thank you. >> also in syria, it seems i don't know, there -- there are so many different factions of the rebels over there. what do you think the chances are of the moderate rebels, being able to protect any
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interest that they would have in the new government if assad -- or if he is thrown out, over the well-financed trained islamist extremists, that does include al qaeda? >> the al qaeda extension of -- from a rock -- iraq, is punching above its rack -- it's rate. they have a presence in 13 of the 14 provinces in syria. they are organizing themselves where they can to perform municipal services, to include in some cases the imposition of sharia law. there are increasing indications though that the moderate islamists are getting wise to this and are not comfortable with it. that they -- there are indications of divisiveness between the sunni opposition groups. how the well play out, it is hard to say. a something that we are watching carefully. -- that is something that we are watching carefully. >> i yield back. >> congratulations on your new post. i have two questions. this is a combination of intel and policy question. i'm interested in in your thoughts in either dimension. what are they concluding from the fact that qaddafi had no nuclear weapons, and that he is dead and buried, that north korea does, that kim jong-il is young is young and reckless, inexperience, but none the less in control of this country? what do you think the iranians are determining from this? is there anything we can do to
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make sure they do not draw the wrong conclusion? and, you may have seen an op-ed in "the washington post." iraq opposes any arms transfers to either side in syria. do you buy it? or do you believe that malik he -- he is willingly allowing flights of arms to supply the assad regime? >> i will start. i ran is a much different type of country. -- iran is a much different type of country. they saw how the international community came together against the qaddafi government. they are watching in north as far as what
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international community has done as far as sanctions and pressure on the north korean government, since it has not the filled its responsibilities as a sovereign state. iran has its own aspirations. it sees itself as the extension of the persian empire. programs,uing its including the nuclear front, and a manner that is inconsistent with its obligations. i think there has been a determined effort on the part of the national -- international community to let the iranian government know that there are certain things that we will not allow. what happened in libya, and in north korea, there is a new circumstance of conditions that apply to iran that they understand full well what the
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implications of continuing down the path. >> your second question. i did see it. i did think that if you'll bear with me, i would rather answer that more carefully in a closed session. >> let me ask a different question then. turning to pakistan and afghanistan, what is the -- motivation of that network? how do you assess their trajectory? are they growing in power? what do you think makes them fight? >> let me ask others to join in. the network is probably the most violent group of the taliban there is. there is debate as to what extent they pay full allegiance or not to -- generally they do. they are quite anti-western. the are -- they have
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reputation of the most violent types of attacks. i saw him particularly, the united states, of late, they have lost a couple of their key leaders. that is i think restraint somewhat there historical aggressiveness. their motivation is uncompromised. >> they are the member of the taliban, but they have a long history of a taught me in that area. it goes against the border of pakistan and afghanistan. we have opposing views of international intervention in that region. but, in addition now, because of the coalition troops that are there, they are fighting along with the taliban, and they are among the most lethal and the most violent groups in the area there.
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what we're looking at is that the taliban moves forward, are they going to stay with them? or separate as far as political agendas question mark >> thank you. -- clinical agendas? -- political agendas?
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>> thank you. maybe some of this we can get into in closed sessions as to specifics. i would like you to kind of give an assessment from your perspective of the different agencies that fall under you. how would you grade the intelligence communities -- community's job, doing a thorough job, if you give a grade of what has been done so far. >> at least a b plus or a minus. in the media aftermath of the raid, we established a joint task force, to us -- as soon as we received media from the raid, to triage it, and that was a community effort, and to go through it as quickly as we could to determine if there were any immediate threats that were -- or threat plotting. theexecutive agent of documents is the cia. he continued to look at the material, as well as organizations established by the then commander, and gerald protagoras -- general petraeus. all the documents, almost in a academic research context, to read out any further findings from these documents that might bear on a threat. i recently met with with a representative from the
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combating services center at the united states military academy at west point about looking -- what we can do to move ahead on these classifying -- on declassifying these documents, since there was about 17 documents that were released immediately to this organization. i do think there is a good call, a good reason for us to declassify. currentt justify operations to current intelligence operations or research methods, make this available more widely for academic research. myselfuld like to make available. i would like to see some of this raw intelligence if possible. that may answer some of my questions in terms of if
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somebody can walk me through it, exact and what it is and what you have been doing with it. 400here were at least intelligence reports that were issued in the initial aftermath, immediately after the raid. i do not know what that number is since then. twice i think you know what i'm getting at. there has been some rumors in the press that the administration is using these documents to basically, instead of connect the dots that al qaeda is continuing to flourish around the globe, it has been used to disconnect the dots. want to put that to bed.
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i have great confidence in you and all of the agencies, and i think it is our job to make sure that we put these rumors to rest out in the public. >> i have not heard that. i certainly can arrange a group inc. -- a briefing on how these documents and how these -- on how these documents have been managed. >> i would appreciate that. >> the director mentioned the effort from central command. assurethe things i can everybody is that the secondary exploitation if you will, the second phase of the we're doing, that is is being -- that is being shared on military channels. for any lessons learned, anything that we can take away from that, from our africa
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command, our european command, other military organizations around the world. i don't have the number off the top of my head. i know there have been hundreds of additional reports that have been subsequently published that has allowed us to understand what we have been facing for some time. i would add that as the director said earlier, we are a learning organization. we absolutely take a kinds of information we are getting out of this to continue to learn and adapt. >> thank you predict if i may, i'm going to -- -- thank you. i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank you, and for your service to our nation, as well as your appearance today at the hearing.
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consideredommittee yesterday was a cyber bill. i want to direct my question to you, regarding cyber attacks and what you think, what we could do to make sure those attacks are thwarted. >> our role in the intelligence community is to provide the intelligence across the board. this is -- i will say both the fbi and the department of defense specifically the dod all have a role to play in providing affirmation to policymakers. i also, i completely agree with the underlying tenet of the bill that you passed yesterday, which recognizes the important
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-- the importance of partnership with the government. docannot do it all, and we need the help of the assistance of the civil sector. that is all i would say to answer your question. >> if each of you could just talk a little bit about the greatest cyber threat from your perspective, is it foreign government's -- governments quest mark is a terrorist? -- governments? >> there are two dimension. what is a capability. the other is intense. from a capability standpoint, terms of the ability to wreak damage to the country, we
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are more concerned with the potential of the nationstate. obviously, we have called this out publicly before, rushing china are the most capable -- brush and china are the most capable. -- russia and china are the most capable. other threats though from other countries who don't have that capability, but might have more intent are of concern to us, which we do watch. that tells off to hackers, criminals, organized crime, which probably represents a lesser capability, but a more aggressive intent. let me stop and ask if others want to comment. picking up on where general clapper started, i believe the greatest threat comes now from nation states hostile to us. i would add iran. and that we have seen expansion of the use of tools such as denial of service attacks. but there are other tools out there being developed that would, as opposed to tying up data or delaying the transmission of data, wipe out data. >> do you think the government
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is currently or -- organized appropriately to address these threats? >> i think we are reaching that point but we are to a certain extent where we were in the wake of september 11. we have to work closely together to address it. we each have a role to play. in the past when it was the counterterrorism threat the other substantial partner had to be state and local law enforcement's. in the realm of cyber it is the private sector. the necessity of assuring swiftly that there is information exchanged between the private sector and our agencies and vice versa. >> one thing about the cyber threat is it is so diverse. not only from the different
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types of actors engaged, nationstates and organized criminals and hacktivists, but the distributed denial of service attacks where the external websites of banks are brought down. there are also more concerning types of threats as far as able to get malware into systems for data deletion purposes. concerns about different types
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of fishing -- phishing, looking at industrial infrastructure and trying to bring down the systems which has critical impact on the country. in addition we have the ipr threat, intellectual property rights going on on a daily basis. there are so many things going on. but these capabilities are across the board. >> who has responsibility on these attacks and the integrated response?
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>> it depends on what is the aspect. when you look at the cyber threat, there are vulnerabilities and mitigation steps. the intelligence community is doing whatever we can to assess the threat and get intelligence so we can provide to those departments and agencies responsible for addressing vulnerabilities that exist in the networks out there and also make sure week -- we take the mitigation steps necessary.
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all of us are working together, depending on what element. that is why we have additional authorities in the government that will and now us -- allow us to engage in the private sector. >> i would just, my quick answer is nationstates for sure. one of the other things, and i think this legislation was pushed out yesterday and will go a long way. veryf the things i am concerned about, that we do support, is adding to our acquisition programs in the defense department. the theft of our defense industrial base is one of my sort of -- it's something that keeps me up at night. i want to ensure that as we provide the best intelligence we can on the types of weapons systems are defense department needs, we want to make sure we outmatch our adversaries as much as we can. that is one of the areas i definitely remain concerned about. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. >> thank you for being here this morning. we hear publicly statements that al qaeda is on the rise, coming back, or about to be defeated. and yet we see their affiliates continue to flourish. you had the issue with iraq and the very poor secret they are affiliated. across that part of the world.
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can you talk to us about your thoughts? can we in fact have a strategic defeat of al qaeda and what would that look like if that were the case? >> first, i would just say that this is an ideology that we face and we have been very clear about the finding that ideology. i believe that this loosely affiliated organization, franchises, the way we have described it in the past -- as we look forward and look at what we are facing now outside of just the afghanistan pakistan theater of operations and some of these other areas that director clapper his openingin testimony, you have to be very concerned about the interdependence, if you will, the interconnectedness of some of these different groups, these affiliates, these looser groups that are out there.
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we describe them as a.q. wannabees. and how they receive things like funding or become involved or interested in the training activities that we know are in fact occurring in places across north africa or in the sahel area of africa. we have to be concerned about how the organizations work together and how connected they are. we pay close attention to that
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and our insight today is far better than it was just a few years ago and our ability to have an impact is actually pretty good. but we need to stay on top of it. especially showing we really truly understand the ideology that we face. >> general clapper gave his comments. 10 you give us your thoughts on the strength of that organization in syria? would that be the predominant post-assad group? >> i can go into detail in closed session on their numbers in relation to the rest of the opposition if that is what you mean. the numbers themselves are not indicative of the real influence. >> just one thing i would offer. you are working very closely with in the intelligence community. how we would define it, to use a military term, how we define the order of battle. what is the organization's -- what are the organizations that make up this friday of -- variety of organizations, what they look like, their composition. we are working through that in the intelligence community so we have a better idea as we move down the road with operations in syria. >> let me switch gears. can you give the american people assurance that
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the benghaziof killings, that we have a full court press to find them and bring justice to them? >> that is certainly the case. theave had individuals on ground building up relationships with counterparts in the libyan interior service. i have been there twice myself. worke doing all we can to with the libyan government to identify these individuals who were responsible and bring them to justice. i will say that there -- they have been responsive. the investigations are ongoing. >> so this is a law enforcement effort as opposed to our efforts against al qaeda. a more law-enforcement approach? >> i would not say any any of
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them are law enforcement. we are a component, but there are other agencies that are working together to make certain that the individuals are brought to justice. each of these cases we do not preclude any possible outcome. we happen to have the capability, whether it be forensic or putting together investigations, to put the investigations together for whatever purpose whether it be prosecution or some other use. >> the department of defense is also tracking the suspects, the perpetrators. the general can speak to this in more detail in closed session. >> i just wanted an acknowledgment of the american people. thank you. mr. chairman. >> mr. thompson. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i thank you all for being here today. i'm sorry i was late. i am told you have not talked about the question i want to ask, or at least have not talked about it in the way i would like to talk about it. that is north korea. can you give us some idea why they are -- why there is so much
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to spare the amongst those in the intelligence community as what is going on over there and what capabilities they have? you will hear from one individual a near crisis and the next individual uncertainty. is there any common thought on what is happening? >> well, i think maybe individuals out there have their opinions.
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institutionally, organizationally there is agreement. north have to say that korea of course is now and always has been one of the if not the toughest intelligence targets. as john brennan pointed out earlier we do not have a big track record on the new leader. there is not much history there. he did not have the grooming. . only around two or three years, unlike his father who had 10 or 15 years of grooming prior to his ascension to the senior leadership role.
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as far as what is happening, as we were discussing earlier the main objective here for kim jong-un is to solidify his leadership and position. a lot of what he is doing is for internal domestic consumption as well as external consumption. i think even he realizes the extreme condition north korea is in with its economy. in fact, we are seeing indications that some portions of the korean people's army, as it is called, as they do every year, are being taken away from military duties to attend to their agricultural responsibilities. sixr harvest last year was percent lower than the previous year. a lot of the donor aid of their going to get will not be forthcoming because of their belligerent rhetoric and aggressive actions they have
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taken. i think we can go into more detail if you would like in closed session, but we have reasonably good inside into what is going on. not to say it is perfect. ondo not have good detail kind of the inner sanctum and what is his long-term objective. i am not sure he has one other than to boost his position. >> what capabilities do they have as far as reaching strategic places where either americans live or work? >> well, they have obviously done three nuclear underground tests. they have displayed although never tested what they claim to be an intercontinental ballistic missile. displayed it in parades. deployed launchers. the vehicles, but not the missiles themselves. so that is an area we watch
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very, very carefully as to what their real capability is. i think i would stop there and go into more detail in closed session. >> i would like to do that. thank you. no further questions. >> thank you, mr. chair and welcome, mr. brennan, to the committee.
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i thank all of you for being here. it is really an honor to be to meet with the intelligence community all over the world, and we thank them for their work. my question is regarding iran and obtaining nuclear weapons. i would like to ask questions about that but before i would like to ask a question of director brennan. when the white house conducted armed drone strikes in north africa, particularly in eastern libya, prior to our attack on the mission in benghazi, did the white house notify the state department of armed drone strikes before they were made? >> armed drone strikes in libya? i am unknowing of such and would defer to the white house to address your question. >> where there any armed drone strikes in northern africa made by the white house? >> the white house does not have a drone of responsibility whatever.
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>> did they have any directive toward having armed drone strikes in north africa? >> again, i do not know what it is you are referring to but i would defer to the white house on whatever happened at that time. >> the vehicles that were flying over were unarmed. >> were there any armed drone strikes that were made in north africa prior to nine/11? >> in libya? >> i'm asking in north africa. were any armed drone strikes made by the united states in north africa prior to 9/11? \ >> i do not know what you could be referencing. >> i'm wondering if the state department was aware or the military was aware or these eia was aware. and if we are not going to talk about it we are not going to talk about it, but that is a question i would like to know. going back to the -- going back to iran, what is our red line regarding the iranian nuclear program? i would ask director brennan. what is our red line? >> that is clearly a policy question.
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one of the things the intelligence community is trying to make sure policymakers are fully development -- informed about developments inside iran. >> but regarding the nuclear weapon program and our intelligence capabilities, again, we have a wonderful intelligence community but we were not aware of the bombing in 1993 of the world trade center tower. we were not aware before 9/11 occurred in 2001. we were not aware of a arab spring developments and were not aware of the attack on the mission in benghazi. thatan we have confidence we will know when iran has amassed the capability of developing a nuclear weapon? i ask that because the president said last month that take approximately a year for iran to development a nuclear weapon -- develop a nuclear weapon once they have made the decision. last week we know the current negotiations have gone without any breakthrough or any development, and so i am very concerned about our intelligence capability of knowing with a high degree of certainty when iran has either made the decision to develop nuclear
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weapons or has obtained nuclear weapons. >> this is a subject much better talked about in closed session.
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